Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 5580

Do Minor League Baseball Players Need to be Exempt From Overtime and Minimum Wage Rules?

Argument in favor

Minor league baseball players receive signing bonuses with their initial contracts and are paid salaries during the season. Forcing baseball franchises to pay them overtime and an off-season minimum wage could cause teams to shut down in communities where minor league baseball is the only pro sport in town.

David's Opinion
···
07/03/2016
Minor-league baseball players are seasonal contractors who voluntarily sign the terms of their employment. They are kids chasing a dream, and are willing to do whatever it takes to give it a shot. Much like young artists, actors, and musicians, baseball players are entertainers. Whether taking improv classes as an actor, practicing in the basement as a musician or working out in the offseason as an athlete, entertainers work on their craft constantly, hoping to create better opportunities and contracts in the future. Forcing teams or theater companies to pay these folks during the offseason would drive up the cost of admission, thus drying up the community support upon which the organization depends. As the $15/hr workers in San Fransisco will soon find out, there comes a point at which labor costs become prohibitive, and businesses either automate or shut their doors. Less teams = less opportunity. Player's Associations (Unions) understand this, but unfortunately career politicians do not.
Like (7)
Follow
Share
Sam's Opinion
···
07/02/2016
Minor league baseball is a little different than traditional jobs, and requires greater flexibility. We shouldn't hamstring what is essentially an extended audition for the major leagues with excessively rigid and expensive labor laws.
Like (4)
Follow
Share
Sean's Opinion
···
07/02/2016
They don't need to be paid during the off-season. It would cause lots of minor-league teams to shut down in poorer areas. On top of that, if you want to get paid during the off-season, then find a damn job.
Like (4)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

These baseball players typically have to work in excess of 40 hours per week during the season, so they need compensated for that on top of their monthly salaries. Not only that, but minor league ballplayers don’t get paid for the time they spend working at their craft in the offseason and that should change.

Ricky's Opinion
···
07/02/2016
I am a former minor league player who left the game because I could not afford to keep doing it at $850/mo (20 years ago). I feel this is not cut and dry. I don't think players should get paid in the off season to practice. You are paid to play and perform, practice is your deal. But I do think that during the season, travel time and oregano prep and mandatory meetings and practices should count and if added up they take a player below min wage, they should be protected. I could barely eat enough food back then and the "bonus babies" or kids with rich parents has better gear, better food, better everything.so I also think equipment should be standardaized so that one player is not at a dosadvantage. This is especially true of Independant minor leagues where many don't even get cleats. Fair is fair. Also why would it even be close to minimum wage when minimum wage is for minimum qualifications. Not everyone can just go play in these games for them. These players (even if they don't make it) are providing a venue for MLB future stars to develop their skills. Pay them!
Like (17)
Follow
Share
Dylan's Opinion
···
07/02/2016
Minor league bad all players aren't paid enough to pay rent--they have to stay with host families during the season so that they have a place to sleep. Their salaries are paid by the Major League club the team is affiliated with. Here's how little they gat paid: you could increase every single player's salary by $5,000 a season, and it would be less than 5% of Justin Verlander's salary.
Like (6)
Follow
Share
eswishie's Opinion
···
07/02/2016
No one deserves to be exempt from these rules because it then gives room for these baseball players to be exploited. Also, they have to work really hard off-season to be good at what they do, so it isn't like they simply are not doing anything.
Like (5)
Follow
Share

What is House Bill H.R. 5580?

This bill would clarify that minor league baseball players are exempt from minimum wage and overtime rules in response to a class-action lawsuit filed against Major League Baseball (MLB) seeking compensation by minor league ballplayers. Because major league baseball franchises pay the salaries of their minor league players, this legislation only applies to players who are covered by a minor league contract.

The lawsuit seeks to extend minimum wage and overtime rules to minor league baseball players and increase their pay, and is expected to go to trial in February 2017. It was filed against MLB because those franchises serve as the parent club for their minor league affiliates, which are responsible for developing players who hope to eventually make it to the “Big Leagues.”

Most major league organizations have between five and eight minor leagues clubs competing in the different tiers of minor league baseball (Rookie ball is the lowest, and AAA is the highest). Each minor league team typically has about 25 players on their roster, meaning that an average minor league “farm system” has around 160 players in it.

Impact

Minor league baseball players; and baseball clubs at the major and minor league level.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5580

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) introduced this bill to ensure that minor league baseball teams and their major league affiliates don’t suddenly face an increase in costs from a requirement to pay minor league ballplayers overtime and a minimum wage. Guthrie has expressed concern that would have a negative impact on the communities that host minor league baseball teams if parent clubs decide to cut costs:

“Minor League Baseball is a beloved game in communities across America, including Bowling Green, Louisville, and Lexington, Kentucky. The game provides an affordable, family-friendly environment while bringing revenue to host cities and contributing to broader economic development. Furthermore, the Minor Leagues offer the best opportunity for players to pursue their dream of one day playing in the Big Leagues, as several local players have done over the years.”

This legislation has drawn fierce criticism from people who are advocating that minor leaguers deserve to be paid more, given that their Major League parent organizations are part of an over $9 billion industry. The bill’s detractors say that parent clubs would need to keep minor league teams around despite a pay increase if they want to continue to develop talented prospects. Garrett Broshuis, a former minor league ballplayer and an attorney representing the plaintiffs in their suit against MLB, offered this critique about the bill:

“It’s despicable. You have billionaire major league owners working with millionaire minor league owners to add to their pockets more, and at the same time you have minor leaguers who are making below the poverty wage. You’re talking about a group of guys whose salaries start at $1,100 per month, and they’re only paid during the season. They’re not paid during spring training. They’re not paid during instructional leagues.”


Of Note: Minor league baseball players are paid signing bonuses when they’re selected in baseball’s draft or recruited from overseas and sign their first contract, but after that their monthly salaries are relatively low. Based on what tier of the minor league farm system a player is at, their monthly pay could range from $1,150 to $2,700 per month during their season, plus additional money for travel, though if a player makes the parent club’s 40-man roster their pay increases further.

To help out their ballplayers, minor league clubs can arrange reduced-cost housing for them with host families, while Major League clubs will often pay for some of the education costs their minor league players incur in the offseason if they take courses at a college or university.



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Savil95)

AKA

Save America's Pastime Act

Official Title

To clarify certain requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 with respect to minor league baseball players.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
      Workforce Protections
    IntroducedJune 24th, 2016
    Minor-league baseball players are seasonal contractors who voluntarily sign the terms of their employment. They are kids chasing a dream, and are willing to do whatever it takes to give it a shot. Much like young artists, actors, and musicians, baseball players are entertainers. Whether taking improv classes as an actor, practicing in the basement as a musician or working out in the offseason as an athlete, entertainers work on their craft constantly, hoping to create better opportunities and contracts in the future. Forcing teams or theater companies to pay these folks during the offseason would drive up the cost of admission, thus drying up the community support upon which the organization depends. As the $15/hr workers in San Fransisco will soon find out, there comes a point at which labor costs become prohibitive, and businesses either automate or shut their doors. Less teams = less opportunity. Player's Associations (Unions) understand this, but unfortunately career politicians do not.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    I am a former minor league player who left the game because I could not afford to keep doing it at $850/mo (20 years ago). I feel this is not cut and dry. I don't think players should get paid in the off season to practice. You are paid to play and perform, practice is your deal. But I do think that during the season, travel time and oregano prep and mandatory meetings and practices should count and if added up they take a player below min wage, they should be protected. I could barely eat enough food back then and the "bonus babies" or kids with rich parents has better gear, better food, better everything.so I also think equipment should be standardaized so that one player is not at a dosadvantage. This is especially true of Independant minor leagues where many don't even get cleats. Fair is fair. Also why would it even be close to minimum wage when minimum wage is for minimum qualifications. Not everyone can just go play in these games for them. These players (even if they don't make it) are providing a venue for MLB future stars to develop their skills. Pay them!
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    Minor league bad all players aren't paid enough to pay rent--they have to stay with host families during the season so that they have a place to sleep. Their salaries are paid by the Major League club the team is affiliated with. Here's how little they gat paid: you could increase every single player's salary by $5,000 a season, and it would be less than 5% of Justin Verlander's salary.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    No one deserves to be exempt from these rules because it then gives room for these baseball players to be exploited. Also, they have to work really hard off-season to be good at what they do, so it isn't like they simply are not doing anything.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Minor league baseball is a little different than traditional jobs, and requires greater flexibility. We shouldn't hamstring what is essentially an extended audition for the major leagues with excessively rigid and expensive labor laws.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    Of all the meaningful legislation that could be introduced we have a bill about minor league baseball. This bill is about wage suppression and padding the pockets of baseball billionaires. A vast majority of minor league baseball players make less than minimum wage. Major League Baseball (MLB) pays these players, not the minor league teams. MLB made $9 billion last year. Both Congressman Guthrie and Congresswoman Busto have received money from MLB's PAC.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    They don't need to be paid during the off-season. It would cause lots of minor-league teams to shut down in poorer areas. On top of that, if you want to get paid during the off-season, then find a damn job.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    No work, no pay. Chasing an American dream can be fun but isn't a perfect job.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Let their owners worry about this!
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Really!! Don't we have more important issues to concentrate on! The worlds on fire and you clowns are worried about people getting payed to play a game!
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    This is ridiculous, government should not be at all involved in the contract negotiations of players, teams, or any private business.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    No one's forcing them to pay. If they sign a contract for set amount of money, then that is their business.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a loaded question. The argument of "chasing the American Dream" then becomes Jon Doe wants to become CEO of "x" company one day, does that mean that he should be exempt from the overtime rule? Then again, hate to see it commission based, paid for performance like a sales person.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Baseball clubs already make insane amount of money, increasing the pitiful wages of minor league players will not cause these clubs to shutdown as some are suggesting. The minor league players,especially those that are below AAA are barely making enough to pay for rent and expenses.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    They are working on their dream. They are professional. They will make more that enough if they get to the big leagues. Besides, it's just a game.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Let's stay out of the Minor Leagues.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    I think its ridiculous, personally. These people are already paid large sums to play a game which only grooms them to earn larger sums of money. Sure, they dont do it all year round, but they also have a job for that time. Overtime? Do they stay after practice throwing batting and running?
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    Not all minor league ball players receive signing bonuses. In fact, most do not. Salaries for minor league ball players are between 20 & 60k per year depending on the level of ball (Rookie league to Triple-A). Receiving overtime and offseason compensation is the only way many of these ball players make ends meet at all.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    They make next to nothing already. Why would this even be brought up beyond the democratic legislator being lobbied by the people who want to line their pockets even more when they could easily afford to pay a decent wage to these players.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Why do people want government to have its hands in baseball? Leave sports alone.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE